Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Judging

All of the posts under the "Judging" category.

A Verbally and Mentally Abusive Father

Imagine a father who lives in the picturesque suburbs. He has a good job, a loving wife, and several beautiful children of various ages. Many people look up to this man as an exemplary model within the community. Most say he is on his way to sainthood.

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As an outsider, this is only a part of the full picture. Now imagine if this same father spends more time playing with the other children in the neighborhood than he does his own children. When his children ask why their father would rather play with the other children and not his own, he in turn starts teasing them, making fun of them, and insisting that they are being whiny brats, instead of getting a loving answer in regards to why he is neglecting their emotional health.

Additionally, his children are victim to several bullies in the neighborhood, tormenters who are relentless and look for any flaw in these children in order to persecute them. The father’s words and actions give these bullies ammunition to use against his children. Then the aggressors pounce upon the children and use the father’s own words against them.

When some of the children get rightfully upset and complain about their father supporting the bullies more than themselves, their siblings yell at them and force their ideas into submission. “You can’t criticize Dad! He’s our father! You have to be obedient and submissive to his will, after all, he knows better than you do.” With this, the family has become more divided than before. Not only is the father allowing the world to abuse his children the same way he does, but some of the children viciously defend his abusive actions.

You are likely in agreement with me that the above father is not a good father at all. While he appears to be a great example to the community, in reality he is a deviant. Yet this is the same attitude in which Pope Francis, the Holy Father, operates his Papacy.

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Whether in the Vatican or abroad, there have been numerous times he was scheduled to meet with Bishops or Cardinals only to cancel at the last minute. While it is understandable, as he is in poor health, instead of taking time off to rest, he has spent time with Evangelicals, Lutherans, or even Buddhists, as he did during his trip to Sri Lanka. If spending time with non-Catholics is how he chooses to relax, doesn’t it beg the question: why? His purpose is not to evangelize; at no time does he discuss with them the need to become Catholic, but rather he endorses their views and discusses solidarity.

While he takes his trips abroad, he holds press interviews aboard the papal plane. “Who am I to judge” has become the go to line for non-Catholics to beat the faithful into submission for upholding Catholic teaching. Pope Francis has given the enemies another great line. “Some people think — excuse me for saying this — that to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits.” Additionally, he even told the world how he reprimanded a faithful mother for getting pregnant again. He accused her of “tempting God” and faulted her for “irresponsible parenting”.

These comments about rabbits and irresponsible parenthood have left some Catholics with the desire to defend the Holy Father’s statements to their dying breath. They accuse Catholics who take issue with the Pope’s choice of words as “taking them out of context”. They admonish their upset brethren for not trusting in God and accuse them of causing division within the Church. “If you just looked at context, you would agree with him!” While in context we agree with Pope Francis, his poor choice of words, especially when being given to newspaper reporters who will actively search for opportunities to take his words out of context and demonize our religion, are what we find fault in. He knew what he was saying, because he prefaced it with “excuse me for saying this”. He gives ammunition to the bullies who in turn use it on his children, who he is supposed to defend and build up into saints.

When a normal father partakes in this destructive behavior against his own children, he is looked upon not as a hero, but a deviant and abusive father. Likewise, if the Holy Father engages in the same acts, he is not being a good father to his children. He engages in the sins of calumny and detraction, and without a public apology for his statements we are left to assume the worst.

Jeff January 21, 2015 52 Comments Permalink

Are Traditionalists The Modern Day Pharisees?

Many who are faithful to the Church and Her Magisterium are mocked by their enemies as being a “pharisee”. Fortunately for the faithful, and unfortunately for the enemy, the term pharisee is being used incorrectly.

What is a Pharisee?

The Concise Catholic Dictionary of 1943 (CCD) states that Pharisees are:

“Those Jews who in our Lord’s time scrupulously observed the Jewish law and refused to have communication with the gentiles; the proud and self-righteous.”

Now, when the term “Pharisee” is thrown around, it is usually used to mock a certain point of view. Its used to mock it, ridicule it and silence it. Nobody wants to be a Pharisee. We know through Scripture that all they did was follow the rules, appear to be Holier Than Thou and had Jesus killed. They aren’t good people.

The people who are called this vile and ugly word, may in fact be devoted to the rules, the doctrine and the teachings of the Church. However, the are far from being smug, “Holier Than Thou” and are usually humble people who recognize that they too are sinners and in need of God’s love and mercy. It is important to keep in mind that there are always some of those who ruin it for everyone else. We are talking about the average traditionalist.

The Pharisees are the enemy in the Gospels. Every time they are mentioned, it is to prove a lesson to them. The Pharisees externally appeared to be “saints” but interiorly were wretched, unrepentant sinners. They cared more about their place of power, as opposed to their place in the Kingdom of God.

Traditionalists, from my experience, are not in any way Pharisees. They hold true to the Dogmas, Doctrines, and teachings of the Church. If the Pharisees did this, then this is the only area in which there is overlap between Pharisees and Traditionalists. Where they differ, is that the Traditionalist recognizes that he is a sinner. The Traditionalist tries his hardest to live his life as Christ and the Church has asked of him. Granted, he may be stern in what he believes, but that is only because the teachings of Jesus are not negotiable. What Jesus has taught goes and what the Church teaches in congruence with her spouse, is also the law of the land.

Pharisees in Scripture

Jesus mentions the Pharisees in Scripture numerous times. Often it is to drive a point home. God does not want you lukewarm, that is, following his law when those around you are looking, and ignoring it when no one is around. He doesn’t want you to follow it out of pride either. The error of the Pharisees is that they think that because they are following the law, that they are saved and because you are not following the law, you are not saved.

Jesus points out that no, those who are not following the law, but repent are more likely to be saved than those who pretend to follow the law, but are unrepentant.

“But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work today in my vineyard. And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went. And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering, said: I go, Sir; and he went not. Which of the two did the father’s will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of justice, and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.” Matthew 21:28-32 Douay-Rheims

Jesus also condemns the false traditions as well and that its not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside. These traditions were created by the Pharisees before them. The Traditions of the Church are given by her authority.

After he had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you. Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.” Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.” And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them. Woe to you! You build the memorials of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” When he left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say. Luke 11:37-54 NAB

Jesus makes it very clear though, that we are to follow the “rules” and Traditions that He has given us numerous times as well (c.f. Matthew 19:16-30 and John 13:31-35).

It is clear that when Jesus talks about the Pharisees, that we must be repentant of our sins and we must follow whatever Commandments that He has given to us. That means that anywhere in Scripture in which Jesus tells us to do something, we are to do it. Because He is God, we know that that is the Truth. There is nothing wrong with following the teachings, doctrines and traditions of the Catholic faith. There is nothing wrong with asking others to do it and making sure that our priests and religious follow them as well, as long as it is done in love. The problem is when we follow only the rules to appear better than those around us. If it is out of general love for God, then it is perfectly acceptable to ensure that our brethren follow the traditions.

Not All Pharisees Hated Jesus

You read that correctly, not all of the Pharisees were bad and wanted Jesus to be killed. As a matter of fact, we read that after Jesus had cured the man born blind and sent him to the temple to wash his eyes, that there was disagreement between the Pharisees. We read:

Some therefore of the Pharisees said: This man is not of God, who keepeth not the sabbath. But others said: How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. John 9:16 Douay-Rheims

Jesus cured the blind man on the sabbath, and some of the Pharisees (the bad ones at least) felt that Jesus’ curing of this man violated the sabbath. Meanwhile, other Pharisees (the good ones) believed that if you are doing something that is good on the sabbath, than you can not be sinning. There was a definite division among the Pharisees. This demonstrates that not all were bad and that more than likely, a percentage of the Pharisees thought that Jesus was God and followed His teachings. We also know of the Pharisee Nicodemus. We read:

And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him. John 3:1-2 Douay-Rheims

It is an important distinction to highlight the good Pharisees. The Pharisees were generally bad, but to allow the good Pharisees to be lumped in with the bad is uncharitable to those who did follow Jesus (assuming they later converted). It also weakens the analogy that traditionalists are all “bad” as this is what the comparison is used for.

Conclusion

Every group has its members who are not good and give a bad name for the rest of them. Just like there were bad Pharisees, there will also be bad Traditionalists. The important distinction is to see how the Traditionalist lives his life as a Catholic to determine if he is like a Pharisee or not. The Pharisees aren’t only those who followed the law to a t, but those who exteriorly followed the law to a t when people were around to witness it. This is a clear sense of pride. But, when they weren’t around they were corrupt and interiorly were diseased and unclean. To lump those on the “ultra-conservative” or “ultra-traditional” side as pharisees, is an assumption and a judgment that you know better what is going on interiorly in their hearts, which Jesus warns against (c.f. Luke 6:37).

Most of the people I know may follow the law to a t, but it is out of love for God and love for others in helping them get to Heaven. If they are actually living out their faith, both when people are around and aren’t, then to call them a Pharisee is an error and an uncharitable error that only goes to create divisions within the Church. I don’t see how that helps anything.

Jeff April 2, 2014 8 Comments Permalink

Misinterpreted Scripture: Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

Have you ever been having a constructive discussion with someone, whether they be on the opposite side of the political spectrum or even just in disagreement over something relating to Church teaching, and just as you have your partner on the ropes, you hear the famous line, “Jesus said judge not lest ye be judged! Stop judging!”

Its one the most overused and misunderstood of Jesus’ teachings that you will probably find. I say this because this is generally used as a cop out when the debate is being lost and for the most part, most people don’t know how to properly refute this point. The other point I’d like to make, is that, Jesus also says a few things after he says to stop judging as well.

Let’s look at what Jesus actually says:

“Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:1-6

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” And he told them a parable, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye. Luke 6:37-42

Okay, we have a lot to go over. So, let’s begin.

Yes, Jesus tells us that we shouldn’t judge, nor condemn, otherwise, we will be judged and condemned, by Our Heavenly Father. This is something that none of us want, though, we will all face when we do die.

But, in Matthew’s account, Jesus tells us that what we measure will be measured out to us. This means that what we are judging them on, we will then be judged on. For example, if I am judging you out of your anger, but I myself have a temper and am angry, then God will judge me harsher for my anger than He would have been before.

Jesus then tells us that we have a wooden beam in our eye, when we are trying to pick out a splinter in theirs. This makes sense, if the problem we are picking on is a much greater problem in ours, then we can’t make their issue a bigger problem than what it may be (whether or not we are right in our judgment (this excludes pointing out people’s sins if it is going to help them achieve Heaven (as we will see in a minute))).

When Jesus tells us though that we are to pick the wooden beam out of our eye and then we can pick the splinter out of our brother’s eye, this goes to show that Jesus wants you to help pick out the sins in other people’s lives as it is necessary for salvation! (I also want to note that if you are pointing out somebody’s sins and you don’t struggle with those sins, then you are rightly pointing out their faults for the necessity of their spiritual well-being).

Luke’s account is similar, Jesus tells us again, not to judge, and similarly what we measure out for others will in turn be measured out for us.

Where Luke differs is how Jesus mentions how the blind can not lead the blind. If we do not know our faith, we can not teach the faith to others, as we may just put the person in a worse position.

Jesus then tells us, that if the disciple becomes well trained then he will be like his teacher. I’m pretty certain that this is Jesus telling us all, that we have the authority, when we properly understand the faith, to correct others when they fall into falsities.

Luke’s account is closed with the similar removal of beams and splinters, which I mentioned earlier.

In short, yes, you can judge someone’s actions as long as 1. It’s an immoral action or something that isn’t for the well-being (whether physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc) of the person. 2. You don’t struggle with it far worse than they do.

If you made it this far, congratulations! You now understand what Jesus meant by judging and you are no longer allowed to misuse this scripture. Remember, Jesus also said to the woman who was about to be stoned, “Go forth, and sin no more.”

Jeff July 16, 2013 2 Comments Permalink

25 Things I’d Like My Sons To Know Tweaked

Today at the Huffington Post, there is a post written by Tom Matlack more or less pointing out 25 things he wants his boys to know. I was intrigued by the title, as I do enjoy lists such as this and as a fan of the Art of Manliness, I am always interested in learning more things that maybe I have forgotten or just never knew.

Unfortunately, he gets a few things wrong. So, here are my comments in bold and italic on the things that he got wrong.

1. It’s harder to take a punch than to throw one.
2. Find the people who make you laugh and follow them around like a golden retriever. Laughing is like a vitamin. You can never get enough of it.
As important as it is to have friends that make you laugh, it is also equally important if not more so to have friends that are always there for you, and are willing to build you up as a person. Someone who builds you up and challenges you to become a better person is a good friend, and these are the people you want to surround yourself with. Sure, Robin Williams can be funny from time to time (when he’s not being crude), but I wouldn’t want to follow the guy around just because I get an occasional chuckle.
3. A guy who hugs a lot is comfortable in his own skin.
This is a great point. I think men need to learn to hug a bit more. Now, I’m not saying that as a guy you should be going around and hugging all the men you encounter, but if you have a really good friend who happens to be a guy, well, hug away.
4. Read poetry.
Poetry rocks and should be read more.
5. There’s nothing wrong with looking at porn, but having sex with someone you care about is a thousand times more fun.
No. Just no. There is many things wrong with porn. Pornography teaches men to objectify women. It completely removes the act of self-giving love from sexual intimacy and teaches him that sex is about HIS pleasure and that she is to be used in order for this pleasure to be achieved. Pornography also completely cuts yourself off from God’s love and completely hardens your heart. Not to mention that it is completely addictive and the images generally become engraved in his head until the day he dies. It causes high expectations on your spouse and generally often will lead to him wanting to do degrading sexual practices on her to imitate what he has seen. She will feel used and lusted after and will NOT want anything to do with him. Secondly, would you say the same things to your daughter(s)? How about your wife? What makes it perfectly acceptable for boys to do it and not girls? I’m assuming a bit here, but I have noticed a general attitude where its okay for boys to do these things, but “if my daughter does it…”. Sexist much?

I do agree with the 2nd half of his statement, except it should be your spouse and it would be infinitely more better and fun.
6. When you feel like crying, for joy or out of pain, let ‘er rip. If you don’t get those tears out, they will calcify in your chest and make it harder to love as fully and deeply as you would like to.
Agreed. Crying is not a sign of weakness, but shows that you are indeed human. The old saying of men don’t cry is a load of crap and needs to be thrown away.
7. Crank the tunes when you have to clean the house.
8. Look deeply into the eyes of the one you are falling for to get a glimpse of his or her soul.
It surprises me that you are not expecting your son to be straight. I understand that you may not know and he could end up this way, but at least guide him properly. You as his father demonstrate actions to your son. The words you give him will have a lasting impact on his life.
9. Spend a chunk of time every year with people who are much less fortunate than you are. It will fill your heart with gratitude.
Yes, this is important and I fear that many Catholics as well as Christians don’t do this enough. Volunteering also has its health benefits.
10. Never lie about anything really important. The first lie will cause you to have to lie again and again to cover up the truth. And each time you’ll chip away an important piece of yourself.
How about don’t lie? He’s right that it will hurt you but how about don’t lie period?
11. Find work that makes you happy. If you can change the world in the process all the better.
12. If you get the chance to travel across the country or across the globe, take it. You will learn way more from people who are different from you than the ones who are the same.
Having traveled to the Eastern Caribbean, I have to completely agree with this statement. I didn’t think I would learn anything from the people down there, but I did. I’m going to comment more on this on my post regarding my honeymoon within the week or two.
13. Doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing. But you are going to make mistakes. Tons of them. The real question is what you will learn from them.
14. Don’t be in any rush to get married. Divorce really sucks. A good marriage can start when you’re 21 or 61.
15. There’s nothing wrong with a Cuban cigar once in a while.
16. Money and power look good, but they won’t fill your being with joy the way your family will.
17. If you like guys, I will fight for your ability to have equal rights in every way.
Again, why are you even giving them this option? This is something that should be addressed at the time that they come out, IF they ever do. Secondly, just because they are your kids, doesn’t mean that their behavior is right. I will admit it, pre-marital sex is wrong. In fact it is a mortal sin. I will cover all the mortal sins regarding sexuality when I get back into my mortal sin series, but the point still remains. When your children do things immoral, you don’t have to back them for it. You also don’t need to fight for their equal rights. We as a society have come to the conclusion that if something is illegal and someone is struggling with this vice, that instead of helping them overcome this vice, we picket and rally until the act becomes legal. This is a travesty and we need to stop doing this. You have your faults. You know what they are, and you know how much you struggle with your faults. You wouldn’t want anyone else to bare that cross, so why make other acts that people struggle with legal?
18. Find a way to move your body that gives you pleasure. You don’t have to be an athlete to be a man, but your body is a temple and you need to care for it, enjoy it, and use it to express yourself.
Yes, this also includes not doing immoral acts with it… Keep your body healthy as well as your soul.
19. Drinking can be fun in moderation. Just make sure to ask for help if you find yourself blacking out or doing things you regret.

If you are blacking out and doing things you are going to regret, 1. You will not know it, it is too late. 2. YOU ARE NOT DRINKING IN MODERATION. Moderation is when you are in control over your actions and are not letting it get to you. You are at the point of drunkenness. How about you tell your sons that they should be careful when they drink?

20. Radical honesty will get you very far in this world. Most people don’t have the guts to speak their mind, regardless of the consequences.
21. Always give your spouse birthday presents in bed.
22. Find a spirituality that you can wear like a loose coat that keeps you warm no matter the weather. God should provide you comfort not make you feel ashamed of yourself.

Spirituality and God don’t always fall within the same sentence. Buddhists do not believe in God, yet this is a spirituality. Frankly, if you are wearing it like a loose coat, then you aren’t really practicing, nor believing your faith. It is just kind of a side thing that you do for convenience. Secondly, God does provide comfort to us. He also challenges us to become a better person each and every day. You should feel ashamed as there are things that God has told us not to do, that indeed are not good for us. You know the part above where you mentioned he should ask for help so he doesn’t do things he regrets? What feeling is it that causes that regret? Is it shame? We are to a point where we no longer challenge each other. Jesus has been reduced to as a man who “didn’t condemn nobody and taught us to be more compassionate and understanding and accepting”. This is half truth and half bull. Jesus did come to teach us these things, but He also told the prostitute to SIN NO MORE. He taught that you shouldn’t harm people because of their sins, because you too have sin, but more importantly that you should STOP sinning. If you’re going to quote scripture, make sure you include the parts that you don’t like as well.

23. Sex is great but holding your spouse in the middle of the night is one of the best feelings any guy can have.
24. Live passionately. Dream big. Don’t back down.
25. Always remember I love you, no matter what happens. You cannot lose me. I will always be there.

I didn’t comment on everything because for the most part I have to agree. I figured the things that needed correction were more important. From a secular point of view, this is a really well written article that completely summarizes how men should live today, but, it is lacking in substance when you really break it apart.

Jeff September 10, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

Rebuke Your Brother?

Upon reading Luke as part of my daily readings, I stumbled upon this great quote from Jesus that I have never noticed before in Luke 17:3

“…Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.”

I suppose what strikes me as the biggest surprise is how Jesus Himself tells us flat out to rebuke our brother if he sins. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that we can only rebuke our brothers, but our family, friends, etc. Many times you hear from those who like the devastating effects of sin something like “Jesus said don’t judge, stop judging me!” or “Love others no matter what!” or something to that effect. But clearly, Jesus says otherwise.

Clearly, we have permission from God, to tell people when they are sinning, that they are indeed sinning. Of course, maybe we are looking at this out of context? After all, there is an ellipsis in front of it!
Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”

Well…yeah, its pretty clear, sin is bad, and tempting others into sin is even worse. Sin is a big deal, and its important to remember this. If you know someone who is committing sin and should know better, rebuke them! Tell them they are in the state of mortal sin and need to go to confession and stop their behavior. Its important that they are held accountable for their actions. However, at the same time do not go about judging in the sense of “YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!!!” This is not only annoying and immature, but also goes against Jesus’ sayings in Luke 6:37 ‘Judge, lest you be judged’.
If someone who you know is sinning and they don’t know better, well, teach them, politely and in a way that is not intruding on them but helps them. Imagine yourself in their position. Establish a good relationship with them, talk with them about it. EXPLAIN the reasons why its a sin to them. Most importantly, teach them.
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